For as long as I can remember, photography has been a deep-rooted passion of mine. The notion of capturing moments in time through the lens of a camera has always fascinated me. Back in the day, I even transformed my minuscule bathroom in my modest flat into a makeshift photo lab. I would spend hours there, meticulously developing black and white prints, experimenting with colors, and wrestling with chemicals to achieve the perfect image. Creating a truly dark environment in that cramped space was no easy feat, and the whole process was a labor of love. But now, with the advent of digital photography, things have become significantly more straightforward.
The thought of buying a camera had been on my mind for an eternity. Finally, I took the plunge. I acquired a second-hand Leica X2, a beautiful relic from Germany, which had first hit the market back in 2012. This compact wonder was equipped with a fixed 36mm F2.8 lens and a 16.2MP CMOS sensor, specs that might pale in comparison to the latest gadgets like the iPhone 15, boasting a whopping 48MP resolution. But to me, it was not about keeping up with the latest and greatest; it was about something deeper.
“Why a second-hand camera?” you might ask. Well, for one, I relished the idea of owning a piece of equipment that had a life before it landed in my hands. It felt like adopting a pet from a shelter, giving a forgotten treasure a new lease on life and sparing it from the fate of a landfill. It was my small contribution to the world of sustainability.
Secondly, affordability played a significant role in my choice. Leica had always held a special place in my heart, but its price tag had always remained elusive. While this second-hand camera wasn’t exactly a steal, it was a Leica, and that alone made it worth every penny.
And then, there was the thrill of the hunt. Scouring the internet for the best deal on used items, endlessly researching the perfect compromise between price, condition, and accessories – it was a game that I had missed dearly. Back when eBay was primarily a hub for second-hand goods, the hunt was even more exhilarating.
“But why not use your iPhone?” you might wonder. True, the iPhone boasts a nearly perfect camera, but it’s also part of a larger ecosystem filled with applications, notifications, messages, and emails. Distractions lurk around every corner, ready to pull you away from the pure act of photography. I craved a device that allowed me to focus solely on the art of image-making, to be fully present in the moment. For me, the ideal scenario meant switching off the phone entirely while capturing photographs.
Now, you might be wondering why I opted for a camera with a fixed 35mm lens. Well, I yearned for something small and lightweight, a camera that I could carry with me effortlessly in my backpack every day. My previous camera, a Canon EOS 7D Mark II, was a behemoth with a collection of lenses and filters, weighing as much as a refrigerator.
But more than that, I wanted a tool that would force me to think deeply about composition, framing, and the entire photographic process. If I needed to get closer to a subject, I wanted to physically move closer, not just rely on a zoom lens. I wanted to be fully engaged in the act of photography, to grapple with the limitations of the camera’s settings and behaviors. Point-and-shoot simply didn’t align with my artistic vision.
As I eagerly await the arrival of my Leica X2, which is currently making its way across Europe, I can’t help but wonder if this camera will truly work for me. Will it reignite my old passion for photography? Only time will tell, but one thing’s for certain: I’m itching to start using it and rediscover the world through its lens once again.